Do I need a wedding planner?
Have a wedding in your future? Ask yourself, "Do I need a wedding planner?"
Movies such as The Wedding Planner or Father of the Bride may have given you the idea that everyone uses a wedding planner. Who could possibly pull off a wedding without one? Actually, lots of people do, but a wedding planner can still provide services that may be worth the price to you. Read below if you're struggling to answer the question, "Do I need a wedding planner?"
If you are planning the ceremony on a fairly tight budget, you may not have enough money to hire a wedding planner. Price whichever items are non-negotiable to you before you decide. For each couple, the non-negotiable factors are different (maybe the dress, location, meal, cake, or something else).
Although some wedding planners may be able to negotiate discounts with vendors, those discounts may not be enough to make up for the hiring price if you're truly trying to plan a cheap wedding.
A common conception is that a decent wedding can't cost anything less than $10,000 to $20,000 and maybe a lot more, but as one writer points out, it's all about your perspective and what you think is necessary. See "You Really Can Have a Wedding for a $1000 or Less" for more details.
Level of Control
"Do I need a wedding planner?" You should answer this question with a resounding no if you prefer to be in control of all aspects of your planning. A responsible planner will operate within the budget and limitations you provide. If you say you're really not interested in a suggestion, she should take your preferences seriously. But you're also dealing with a stranger. If the idea of a stranger having input in your wedding is a problem for you, a wedding planner may not be the best option.
On the other hand, if the planning is too overwhelming and you would welcome help from anyone, paying for planning services may not be a bad idea. Many people find the planning stressful, so if you don't need to have your fingers in every single step of the planning, you may save yourself stress by contracting out the work.
Number of Details
The number of details should also influence your answer when you ask yourself, "Do I need a wedding planner?" The number of details can walk hand-in-hand with the formality of your type of wedding. For example, if you're planning a simple wedding (a few friends and family in your home or church, with just snacks and cake for the reception), hiring a wedding planner is probably overkill because there aren't many details to manage. But if you're planning a more elaborate ceremony or reception, the planning checklist can be extensive. In that case, planning may take hundreds of hours, and paying the fee is worth the time you can devote to other things.
If planning is largely something you must do on your own, a wedding planner's services may come in handy. However, if your circle of family and friends contains a lot of talents, you can delegate tasks to the willing ones. For instance, someone with an eye for arranging flowers can make your bouquet, your maid of honor can choose her own dress, or a good cook among your friends can bake the cake.
So consider carefully before you surrender the cash for planning services. Not every bride will answer the same way when she asks herself, "Do I need a wedding planner?" And that's OK. You should be concerned with your wedding, not everyone else's. If you decide a wedding planner is worth the price, ask some questions before you commit to working with one.